Genre fare often gets thematically ambitious, but this is a case of trying on too many different ideas for any of them to really pack a punch—or for the genre elements to make much sense. Co-directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead also star as Justin and Aaron, a pair of brothers who fled an apocalyptic cult called Camp Arcadia 10 years earlier; now, Aaron wants to go back for some emotional closure. Benson (who also scripted) and Moorhead set an appropriately ominous tone at Camp Arcadia, full of strange behavior and unexplained phenomena. Then they start digging into a variety of different heavy topics: the lack of control that comes with believing in a higher power; unresolved sibling conflicts; the sense of despair that can come with feeling like you’re caught in unbreakable patterns. Any one of those on its own would have offered plenty to chew on, and might still have allowed more space to understand the complexities of the supernatural elements that eventually emerge. The sparks of weirdness can’t quite give shape to a movie that’s too overflowing with question marks.
Director: Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson
Producer: David Lawson Jr., Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead, Thomas Burke, Leal Naim, Robert Pfaff and Frederick Pfaff
Cast: Aaron Moorhead, Justin Benson, Callie Hernandez, Tate Ellington, Lew Temple, James Jordan, Shane Brady, Kira Powell, Emily Montague, Peter Cilella and Vinny Curran